Tuesday, April 01, 2008

iPLOD™: Sharper Image's Beamz™ Interactive Music Performance System

Dartanjal really hit the nail on the head with this one. I think in the beamz™ interactive music performance system, we can find everything that's wrong with the entire Sharper Image aesthetic in one lone SKU. First off, for some weird reason that can only be explained with the aid of some recreational drug use, they think their demographic still thinks products whose names substitute an "S" with a "Z" are somehow "hip", "trendy" or "urban chic." Then you've got the aesthetic design of the thing, which is of course molded in a silver-like plastic substance and shaped like a big-ass W (because corporate guys who buy crap like this to make themselves feel like they might just have a solitary creative bone left in their bodies still like George W. Bush, right?). Then you look at the specs of the thing and you realize they're charging $600 for what essentially amounts to the synth inside a crappy Casio keyboard connected to a few LED lights. And their marketing geniuses think that psuedo-New Agey ad copy like this will appeal to their base:
The beamz™ interactive music system brings families and friends together through highly personalized music performances that elicit joy and excitement across all ages. Even preschoolers can "play the light®" and everyone can be the music star of the party! And in a different way, anyone can chill out while performing alone — expressing their mood with music of their own making.

With a combination of poor concepting, execution and marketing like this, it's no wonder Sharper Image just declared bankruptcy (thanks for that bit of info, Koobifora).

I can just see lots of Shaper Image board members standing alone in their offices, one hand holding their quarterly financial report, the other moving through the magical LEDs of the beamz® Interactive Music System, playing a wistful, melancholy tune along to a "reggae" rhythm track, a single tear streaming down their cheek as they ponder how meaningless life will be without so much useless shit to buy when Sharper Image is finally put out to pasture.


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